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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

The biggest beneficiary of the unbuilt Urban Room and arena plaza? The arena company. Which has no obligations. Was there a deal with original developer?

As I wrote in my recent FAQ about the kerfuffle over the missing Urban Room--the unbuilt atrium that was to be part of the unbuilt flagship tower--the defense of the status quote, and the avoidance of talk about fines, came from two sources.

Those are the project's master developer, Greenland Forest City Partners, and the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, Empire State Development. 

July 26, 2022
Missing was the arena company, controlled by Joe Tsai. They're sitting pretty. 

They benefit from the unbuilt structure and the presence of a plaza, which they're currently revamping, after ten years, as shown in the photo at right. They're surely not expecting it to go away.

The plaza allows for advertising, and is sponsored by SeatGeek.

The original developer, Forest City Ratner, controlled all the sites on the project, as well as the team and arena company. 

Was there a deal?

When Forest City sold the arena company, in phases, to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov (who later sold it to Tsai), I suspect there was an agreement, implicit or explicit, that the real-estate developer would eschew building the B1 tower (aka "Miss Brooklyn") that would include the Urban Room.

After all, construction of a giant tower would significantly interfere with arena operations, notably the flow of arena crowds.

So one question that should be ventilated, when any move proceeds to transfer bulk from the unbuilt B1 across Flatbush Avenue to create a giant project at what's known as Site 5, is whether and when there was a contractual agreement to not build B1.

If so, that should have been ventilated before the obligation to build the Urban Room was affirmed in 2014.

Since the arena company benefits, why shouldn't they pay for the privilege of not having a building at that site? That could go toward compensating the developer for not building some or all of the square footage it wants to move, and/or even part of the fine, which could reach $10 million by May 2023.

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